Long-term rates are finishing their fourth-straight week in the same place: the 10-year T-note in the 4.6s, mortgages 6.25-6.375 percent. This trading band is too tight to last much longer, and at week end the majority opinion has shifted (again) to favoring a modest drop out of the bottom of the range.

The current economic circumstance is as weird and out of historical pattern as the semi-recession 2001-2003. Global integration has made obsolete most of the business-cycle instincts useful since WWII; the business cycle lives, but it’s not your Dad’s.

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